View over Sibiu Romania

Cultural Sibiu, our introduction to Transylvania

Sibiu was our first stop in Romania outside of Bucharest, and we loved the historical center with all of its churches and old buildings with eyes on the roof. We visited a really cool open air museum showing how people lived a long time ago.

We went to the station Gara de Nord in Bucharest, the main train station to catch our train for Sibiu at 10 am. The ticket cost 60 lei (around 15 USD) each for the six-hour journey.

Bucharest, not an entirely awful place

We were seated in a compartment with six seats, not the most comfortable but nice in that old fashioned kind of way. The train actually passed by Brasov, that we were later to visit, on the way there. The landscapes were amazing, always with a backdrop of snow covered mountain tops. At the stations, vendors would pass through to sell weird little things, my favorite being a glow in the dark crucifix which I obviously bought.

A relaxed historical center

When we arrived in Sibiu we went straight to our guesthouse, where we were greeted by the lovely host and escorted to our room. We were pretty tired after the long journey, but really wanted to get out and see the town, and more importantly, find something to eat.

Like in Bucharest, there was a big Easter market in the main square, although this one was a little bit more dormant. The weather was so nice and people were sitting outside all the restaurants having drinks and snacks. We strolled around the squares, checking out the churches and trying to get an overview of the town.

old buildings in Romania

What to do in Sibiu

Astra museum of folk civilization in Sibiu RomaniaASTRA museum of folk civilization

The highlight of our visit to Sibiu was the open air museum ASTRA, a large area showing old buildings to give an idea of what life was like in Romania a long time ago. You can reach it by bus, but it’s only a few kilometers outside of Sibiu city center so we walked there along a very nice bike path. The museum area itself is very big, and walking around most of it took us several hours. There are hundreds of buildings but you can’t enter most of them. Still, they’re nice to look at, too! Afterwards, we were too tired to walk back to town, so we bought bus tickets in the museum reception and went to the bus stop just across the road. Very convenient.

The museum of pharmaceutical history

The pharmacy museum is part of the Brukenthal museums, and is housed in an old pharmacy building. It showcases old equipment for making medicine, bottles and scales and such, which is quite cool. It’s a very small museum so try to get there when no tour group is coming in.

Where to stay in Sibiu

We booked our stay at Casa Timpuri Vechi, which had outstanding reviews on It’s located close to the main square, Piața Mare, with everything in the historical center just a few minutes’ walk away. We loved these guesthouses in old buildings in Romania, I can’t even imagine why anyone would pay more to stay at a Ramada in the new part of town. At this place, I especially liked that our room opened to the outside, so we could come and go as we liked without passing a reception area.

Planning a trip to Romania? Check out our nine day itinerary!

what to do in sibiu, transylvania
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